Call of the Archimage

Call of the Archimage

A Story by Bella England
"

"Zoé, listen. Avolaria needs you. You're the only one who can stop the war."

"

An army of soldiers were gathered around in a grassy village. The landscape was a deep blue and they were obviously underwater. The soldiers’ faces were blurry and disfigured in the dark clouds that surrounded them.  


They were wearing black armor and on their shields was a strange symbol.


Black fire with crossbones.


What did it mean? For certain one thing I knew �" it was a symbol of death.


A drumming sound reverberated around the army. A dark fire suddenly rose all around the village and flickered around, snaking around the innocent people in the water.


Screams echoed around as the fire scorched them. People were just vanishing left and right in thin air. All that was left of them were ashes.


I felt someone’s cold eyes looking at me. “You’re next, chosen one,” one of them snarled. 


He reached out to me, launching a bolt of dark fire. The fire was nearing closer to me, only a few inches away. Centimeters. Millimeters.


Then, the dream flickered and shifted, as if I was watching a TV show and a hacker had cut into the connection. 


Shadows danced around a woman trapped in a cage. 


Her golden-brown cape, tinged with an eerie glow, draped over her shoulders. Her blond hair was dirty from years of imprisonment. 


A deep gash marred her pale neck, from which faint whispers of a plea for freedom escaped, carried on breaths tinged with fear. 


"Help me, my child," she sobbed, the words dripping with desperation and sorrow, echoing through the darkness of my nightmare.


The chains binding her to the cage rattled, the sound a chilling contrast to the low hum that filled the air. Her eyes fixed on the horror in front of her, a silent scream frozen on her lips. 


A dark creature suddenly unlatched her cage, its scaly tongue flickering. Unusually, the monster devoured her slowly, taking his time to snap every single bone. 


Guess he wasn’t that hungry today.

The atmosphere was thick with tension, the sense of dread evident as if the very essence of fear had taken physical form within the confines of the cage. 


The woman's silent cries reverberated, a haunting sound that spoke of untold horrors and unspoken truths. 


Then, as if she was looking straight into the depths of my soul, her eyes fixed upon me.


In the midst of her pain, a garbled chant continued on for minutes before I could make sense of what she was saying. 


“Be careful!” she was wailing. “Your time is running out, Archimage.”


***


I jolted awake, my heart thundering in my chest. The echoes of the nightmare still reverberated in my mind, the woman's voice haunting me once again. 


"Be careful," she’d whispered, her words slicing through the darkness of the cave.


A cold sheen of sweat covered my skin as I sat up, gasping for breath in the suffocating silence of my room. Frustrated, I glanced at my clock. 3:54. OK. I’m officially going insane.


I’ve been waking up for the last three months at exactly 3:54 because of nightmares. Either someone’s trying to contact me through my dreams or I’m raving mad. 


Probably the latter, honestly.


I held my head in my hands, trying to calm down my racing heart. 


My phone buzzed on the nightstand, Ava's name glowing in the dim light. 


I fumbled with the device, fingers trembling as I dialed her number. "Ava, can you come over? Meet me at our pine tree. I need to tell you something." My voice was strained, quite unlike my usually composed self


“Whatever.” she answered sleepily. I could hear her rummaging around in her room.

Placing my phone next to my nightstand, I dressed and snuck outside, my eyes straying to a special pine tree that rose taller than all the trees surrounding my mansion.


I ran my hands over the smooth bark, smiling at the influx of memories flooding over me. 


It was my safe haven.


When I felt sad or depressed, or scared, I immediately went to this place to think. To breathe, you know? Not that I always felt depressed, but I have my moments.

I closed my eyes and leaned against the trunk of the tree, letting the wind play with my luxurious blond hair. 


I love the smell of pine trees. I always had. It was a mix of resin, and a hint of citrus. Leaning back, I inhaled the never-ending scent and it immediately helped me calm down and just focus. 


Minutes later, Ava arrived. I heard her tip-toe into my garden and sit next to me, her presence a balm to my shattered nerves. “Zoé?”


We sat under the ancient pine tree in my backyard, its branches swaying in the gentle breeze. She looked me up and down, noticing my bloodshot eyes. 


"You look like straight-up s**t." 


Meet my best friend. A fierce, loyal person who kept me on my toes. She wasn’t afraid to tell me the truth, even if it was brutal. 


“Sheesh, wow, thanks.” I responded, used to her outright behavior.


“Girl, what’s been going on?”


I hesitated, then spilled out the details of my nightmares, the weight of them heavy in the night air. I purposefully avoided mentioning the first part and the threat I’d got from the dark soldier, instead telling her about the woman.


Ava listened, her eyes reflecting my own unease. “I’m tired of this,” I said after my long rambling session. “I really can’t keep living my life like this.


Ava's gaze hardened, determination sparking in her eyes. "We'll figure this out, Zoé. Promise. But you gotta sleep. You’ve been watching these nightmares for months now?”


I nodded, sighing. “Three months already. It’s annoying that I have to wake up in the middle of the night because of one of my goddamn nightmares. Then, I can’t go back to sleep thinking about it! Why can’t I just get a good night’s sleep?” 


Ava shook her head worriedly. “Let’s be real �" this really isn’t normal. Have you tried talking to anyone about it before?”


I nodded, wincing as I remembered how it turned out. Months of taking melatonin hadn’t helped �" not one bit. “Yeah, I told my dad about it but he brushed it off and told me to take the meds.”


"Well, we won't brush it off,” she said, a little angrily. “We'll find a way to help you, Zoé. You won’t have to take the meds for it either. Try keeping notes of your dreams so we can see if there are any patterns to it.”


I smiled weakly at her suggestion. "That sounds like a good idea, Ava. Anything to make sense of these nightmares. And maybe, once we understand them, they'll stop haunting me."


Ava nodded, determination shining in her eyes. "We'll get through this, girl. Don’t worry.”


As we sat there under the oak tree, surrounded by the wonder of nature, I felt a slight glimmer of hope. Maybe with Ava's help, I could figure out the cause of the nightmares that had been haunting me for months and block them from happening again.


Cause I’m obviously stronger than this.

CHAPTER 1: GREENWAY ACADEMY


ZOÉ

�"

I slammed the snooze button on my clock for the third time, stirring. "Zoé, bruh, wake up!" I heard my dad yelling from downstairs. Ava was shaking me roughly. "Zoé, come on! Then I gasped as freezing cold water splashed on my face. “AVA! I WAS WAKING UP!” 


My eyes flew open and I sat up, spluttering. Not the best way to get woken up, but I kind of expected it. Ava doesn’t tolerate laziness. Bummer.


I realized Ava was waving her hands in front of my face. Blinking my bleary eyes, I slapped her hands away. "When did you get here?" 


She grinned, applying a coat of lip gloss, glancing at my bedroom mirror. "Slept over last night. Remember? Where’ve you been?"


Rolling my eyes and blinking the leftover water out of my eyes, I stumbled into my bathroom, locked the door, and took a quick shower, sighing as the steaming water washed over my tensed muscles. 


Did I mention I wasn’t a morning person? 


Ava was impatient as usual, knocking on my door every five minutes as I got dressed and quickly tied my blond hair up in a messy bun.


"Hurry up, Zoé! We can't be late for class!" As well as being annoying, my best friend was a nerd. Not joking. She had a book stuck in her face every other minute she wasn’t talking to me. It’s no question she’s going to be the valedictorian of our class in two years.


I opened my door, waking slowly just to aggravate her.


"I'm hurrying, I'm hurrying," I muttered, still groggy, even after the shower. 


"Where are my keys?" I asked, patting my pockets down. "I have them," Ava responded, tossing them in the air. "I'm driving you and Zach today."


Shrugging, I strode downstairs. Much to my surprise, my twin brother Zach was already down, devouring waffles which he'd already drowned in syrup.


Since when did he start to get up early?


Dad was making breakfast. By the way, Dad is a really good cook. Like Hell's Kitchen type of cook. “Good morning honey.” He flipped a pancake expertly on the griddle. 


“Chocolate chip, just the way you like it.”


I smiled at him, even that simple gesture taking all of my strength. After three months of summer, waking up early wasn’t really my thing. “Thanks Dad!”


Shuddering at the amount of sugar Zach had put on his pancake, I grabbed a waffle and quickly ate it, humming in satisfaction. 


After downing a glass of orange juice, I stood up and grabbed my purse. Ava stood up with me, tugging on Zach’s elbow restlessly. 


"Bye Dad!" I called out as I strode out the door, pancake in hand. "Bye kids!" he yelled back. "Take care, Zoé!" Ava smiled. "I will, Mr. Livingstorm! Thanks for the pancakes!"


As always, my twin called shotgun, clambering on my Honda Civic. Rolling my eyes, I climbed in the back, my AirPod Pro's fully in place as I opened Spotify. 


Music was my comfort zone. 


Humming along to the tune I held my breath as Ava zoomed past a yellow light. Ava is a really fast driver �" race car driver fast �" but the crazy thing is that she’s never been in an accident before or got a ticket.


Really crazy considering the fact that she’s driving at 90mph and that’s the slowest she’s even been.


I smiled as Ava expertly parked in the familiar landscape. The school that I’d been at all my life, since Kindergarten up to now.


Greenway Academy. 


I heard Zach talking on the phone, which he quickly hung up when we reached the high school. Climbing out of the Civic, I grabbed my bookbag and headed towards the doors, excited for the new year.


“Come on guys!” Geez, they were taking forever. Zach rolled his eyes at my impatience, annoying as ever. Annoying brother, annoying best-friend. What next? 


Annoying boyfriend?


I skipped towards the main entrance, checking out with the office lady, Ms. Hailey. She flashed me a smile. “Ready for the school year, hun?” I grinned. “Yup.”


She handed the three of us our yearly planners with the annual schedule at the back.

I scanned the schedule, beaming. We're all in the same classes except for one! 


But my smile faded as I glanced at our first class.


Honors Biology. The dreaded class. 


The teacher there, Mr. Smith, was the definition of mean and he didn't even care if he got fired. He would make sure to make my life a living hell before he did.


We slow-walked towards his class, taking as much time as possible to delay going in the class. The bell rang and I scampered in just in time. 


Sighing, I sat down next to Ava, dropping my bookbag to the ground. I tried to pay attention as he droned on and on and on, stopping occasionally to pick on a person. 


"Livingstorm," he snapped suddenly. "Who made the first X-ray of DNA?" My mind scrambled for an answer. Rose? Rosa?


"Dr. Rosalind Franklin," answered Ava, smoothly covering for me. I shot her a grateful look. "I asked Miss Livingstorm," he said, scowling at her sternly. "Apparently, she doesn't have an answer. Is my lesson boring to you, Miss Livingstorm?" he asked.


"Uhh...no?" I said in a very convincing tone of voice. [Note the sarcasm.] He glowered at me. "You may step out into the hallway if you aren't going to pay attention." I shook my head.


"No, sir," I said quickly. "That won't be necessary." Rolling his eyes, he returned to the lesson after mumbling a quiet, "I don't even know why you're in Honors Biology."


I was immediately riled up but I let out a long breath. Phew. Can't be getting in trouble on the first day of school. But the teacher just pissed me off. No way I would let him treat me like that.


As soon as the bell rang, I stormed out of the class in anger. "He's the only teacher that has a problem with me," I frowned, my nose flaring. "Why does he hate me so much?”


Ava shook her head. "I dunno. I really don't like the way that he always targets you."


I crossed my arms in frustration. "Bruh, literally." As we headed towards our lockers, I noticed that the hallways were strangely empty. The hairs on the back of my head stood up. I had this feeling that something bad was going to happen.


I looked at Ava in confusion. “Why are the hallways so empty? They’re never like this.”


Ava was strangely looking around frantically, tensed. I've never seen her look so fearful before. It was making me even more scared.


Suddenly, a guttural growl echoed through the hallway, freezing me in place. I turned to see a blackened monstrous creature, its eyes filled with malice, lurking menacingly towards me. 


Around its neck was a necklace. A necklace with the same symbol I’d seen in my dreams!

My eyes nearly bugged out of my head. OK, yup, I am definitely going crazy. First nightmares, now a monster in our school with a necklace identical to my nightmares.


Way to go, Zoé! Next stop, insane asylum.


"Zoé, get down!" Ava's urgent scream pierced through my string of thoughts as she flung herself in front of me. I suddenly realized she had sprouted light blue wings and a halo of golden light was surrounding her.


What the heck? Deciding I wasn’t insane, I ducked down behind her, a mix of anger and fear pulsating through my heart. Ava had magic. Where have I been?


The creature roared and lunged for us, but Ava's magic repelled it, sending it crashing against the lockers with a deafening bang.


"Whoa, Ava, what's going on? What is that thing?" I yelled, my voice trembling with fear as I huddled against the lockers. I hate sounding so childish and scared. But this is a whole ‘nother level of wildness. 


"It's okay, Zoé!" Ava urged, her voice unwavering as she continued to fend off the creature. "Just trust me. Where the heck is Victor?"


Who the hell is Victor? And why is she worrying about him when we’re in the middle of a f*****g crisis!? 


Then, her eyes glowed an amber. I'm not joking. When I say they glowed, they glowed.

It immediately lit up the hallway and spread around us like a force field.


In a blur of motion, a man stealthily appeared beside us, his dark eyes gleaming with determination. Where'd he come from?


In shock, I admired the stranger’s profile. He had an aura of mystery around him. A few loose strands of his lustrous jet-black hair scraped his chin and his cool obsidian eyes were focused on the monster in front of us.


Oh shoot �" the monster. Why am I daydreaming about a stranger when I could be dead any second?  And Ava �" I swear if we survived I was going to grill her until she filled me in on everything. 


The fact that she has magic and I didn’t notice? 


Check.


Who this stranger is?


Check.


The man moved with surprising agility, his movement catlike. "I got you,” he said, his velvety voice deep and alluring. 


"Ava, you just take care of protecting Zoé," he ordered. He knew my name?! "I've got the monster." If he was scared, he didn’t show any sign of it on his face. In fact, his face was stony and betrayed nothing. 


As he held his palms out, a ray of topaz shot out of his hand, conjuring a dazzling whirlwind that enveloped the creature, trapping it within a tempest of swirling winds.


I couldn’t help but admire his arm. It was veiny and tattooed and his muscles rippled as the light swirled from his hands. 


He has magic too? 


Ava's hands shook with effort as she maintained her protective barrier, her face contorted in concentration. 


The creature thrashed and roared, but the combined force of their magic held it at bay.


I could tell that they couldn't hold it off for much longer though. A sheen of sweat was gliding down the stranger's chiseled face as he clenched his teeth. 


Ava's eyebrows were furrowed in concentration, "Victor, I really can't hold it off much longer!" Oh, so this was the mysterious Victor


A surge of jealousy shot through me. She knew this hot guy and didn’t even bother to tell me? She’s fake, for real.


"Let it go," he gasped, “I’ve got it.” Her eyes shone with fear. “Be careful.” His voice was laced with determination. 


“I’ll be alright. If anything happens, your main focus is on Zoé.” He looked at me, pausing. 


“Leave me behind.”


The air crackled with tension as I stared at Ava and Victor, their faces contorted with determination. "What the hell is going on? Why didn't you tell me?" I demanded, finally finding my voice. 


I shook my head in disbelief, surveying Ava's pale blue wings shimmering in the dim light, and Victor's obsidian eyes glowing with an otherworldly fervor.


"Zoé," Victor said in a no-nonsense voice. My heart skipped a beat as he looked at me with his dark eyes. "Ava and I are going to distract the monster. I need you to run as fast as you can away from here." His eyes softened. "We'll be okay."


The menacing creature loomed before us, its forked tongue flicking as if it realized what we were going to do to it.


As I stood in the strangely deserted high school hallway, my heart raced with confusion and fear. I suddenly stood up to my full height, realizing they were going to sacrifice themselves for me. My best friend and a complete stranger. Heck no.


No way that was going to happen. 


Ava's hands trembled as she summoned the last of her magical strength, while Victor positioned himself protectively in front of me.


"Zoé, run! Now!" I completely ignored the man, standing in place.


The creature lunged, its claws slashing the air with an ear-piercing screech. My heart pounded furiously as I frantically searched for an escape route, but none could be found.


Amidst the chaos, a glint of steel caught my eye. I saw Victor hold the sword and slash it across the air with a primal roar. The blade met the monster’s thick hide and just bounced back.


Ok �" swords don’t work on it.


Much to my amazement, my feet started moving on their own accord �" like muscle memory. “Zoé, no!” Ava shouted but her voice was so far away I could ignore it.


I crouched my own body in a battle stance. It came naturally to me for some reason.. I gaped as a dagger appeared out of thin air and materialized in my hands. 


Swallowing, I tried to guess the monster’s weak spots.


Eyes, for sure. That was a weak spot for any monster, I think.


I shouted, trying to distract the monster from Victor. Sure way to get its attention. 


Snorting and snarling, it headed for me, bounding with speed. 15 feet was the only distance between us. Then 10- 8… I could faintly hear Victor cursing in the background.


“Zoé!” Putting every bit of precision and focus in my aim, I threw the dagger with a force I never knew I possessed, impaling it right in the eyes. 


The creature howled, crumpling into a dark mist. Trembling with adrenaline, I looked at Ava and the stranger, their eyes wide with astonishment. “You don’t ever listen, do you?” The stranger broke the silence, glowering at me. “You could’ve been killed! Mauled!”


I glared right back, full of fury. “First of all, no. Don’t even start with me. I don’t even know you. What’s your problem? I’m not gonna let a random stranger and my best friend sacrifice themselves for me. What kind of slow person do you mistake me for?


He scowled. “We’ve been trained to f*****g protect you all this time. We were trained to sacrifice ourselves if necessary. Don’t you think we were prepared for this scenario?”


“I don’t need you or Ava to protect me!” I snarled. The idea was absolutely absurd. “I can handle myself! Just proved it too!”


But his words broke through my anger. Could they have handled this better than me? 


Probably. 


Do I care? 


No. 


With a steely resolve, I glared at Ava, willing for her to explain all of this, my heart pounded in my chest. What just happened?


The echoes of our frantic footsteps reverberated off the lockers, adding to the tense atmosphere. I turned to Victor and Ava. She was looking worried, but the man showed nothing behind his guarded but furious eyes. 


"Later." I swallowed, glancing around as the dagger in my hand disappeared, along with Ava's wings. The high schoolers were moving around in the hallways normally, as if nothing had happened. 


As if my life hadn't been turned upside down in a few minutes. "You will explain everything." I said, my voice carrying strong despite the ravaging betrayal I felt. 


"No more hiding things from me. And who is he?” I waved my hand at him.


Ava grinned, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “This is my older brother. Victor.” Strangely, I felt relieved. Now that I was finally calming down, I could see the similarities between them. Same jet-black hair, same eyes.


“You had a brother all this time and you didn’t tell me?” I exclaimed, my eyebrows shooting up. She looked guilty. Especially a hot one? I felt a bit upset. 


There were a lot of things Ava had been keeping from me. It wasn’t the ‘we tell all our secrets to each other’ relationship that I thought we’d had. 


I realized Victor was watching me intently as if he understood what I was thinking. I stared right back, willing my eyes to sing what was ravaging my mind..


You don’t know me. You think you do but I’m not who you think you are. I’m strong �" stronger than who you think I am.


Must’ve worked because he looked away. I turned to Ava. “What was that thing?”


"It's a creature from the magical realm," she explained. “A Drakorus. Half dragon, half raven. It's after you and your powers."


"Powers?" I exclaimed, my mind reeling. "I don't have any powers!" I denied quickly. 

"What the heck are you talking about?"


But deep down inside, I knew I was lying. I did have powers and pulling that dagger out of thin air just proved it. What mess have I gotten myself into now?


Ava stepped forward, her eyes pleading for understanding. "Zoé, you're not a regular human. You have magical abilities, and I’ve been here to protect you all along."


I staggered back, the world spinning around me. "This can't be real," I muttered, clutching at the lockers for support. "You're not human," I accused, my voice rising in disbelief.


"You!" I pointed at Ava , "Y-You have wings and you’re not even my real friend! You’re just a bodyguard! Why didn't you tell me? How could you lie to me? After I grew up with you. 


Sixteen whole years!


She looked at me, a little hurt. 


Good.


"Girl, I am your friend. What are you talking about? Just because I’m your bodyguard doesn’t mean I’m your best friend…"


But I was on a roll. "I thought we were best friends. How could you keep all of this from me? How could you pretend our lives were normal? "


The air crackled with tension as I grappled with the sudden revelation. Everything I thought I knew about myself and my friends had been upended, leaving me feeling like a stranger in my own life.


Now, what am I going to do?






































© 2024 Bella England


Author's Note

Bella England
What do you think? If you want to read more just visit my profile on wattpad at: https://www.wattpad.com/user/fantasylover_3

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This is an amazing writing!!! it has character and an interesting plot

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Bella England

1 Week Ago

Thank you!

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Added on May 13, 2024
Last Updated on May 13, 2024
Tags: thriller, romance, teenfic, betrayal, enemies to lovers

Author

Bella England
Bella England

Charlotte, NC



About
HIIIIIII ! I'm a 14-year-old writer who's been working on a story that's been on my mind for ages, literally. The series is Warlocks of Avolaria and book 1 is Call of the Archimage. Please take .. more..